by Tohru Fujisawa
Published in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: There's a rose on her hip. I don't know what the "zero" is all about.
Rose Hip Zero is a series from the creator of GTO, which would normally be a great motivator for one to check this out, but not so much in this case. Rose Hip Zero is about an almost supernaturally competent female teenage assassin, Rose, and the bad boy cop Kyoji as they take on the teen terrorist organization ALICE. It is an exactly manga-by-the-numbers action story. With a teen girl in a school uniform who likes to do flips (no fan service there!).
There are a couple weird story bits, which in GTO reflected the wackiness of the main character and his effect on the world, but here just seem odd when compared to the terrorist-derived storyline and the implied stakes in the story. I tried to find out more about the story and series, but apparently this is the second of a three-series set. As far as I can tell, Rose Hip Rose, the predecessor story, has been released in the US, and Magnum Rose Hip, the successor is currently being serialized. I suspect they may shed more light on some of the things here.
While the art is nice, sometimes parts of it are mislaid so that the full impact of the story is lost. For instance, there is a full page spread, which is nice, but an important story bit is hidden in the crease so that you can't see it. So while this is a good action story, that's all that it is, despite attempts to try to draw you in and build a backstory.